|Position:||Assistant Coach - Sprints, Hurdles and Relays|
Technician, teacher, and jazzman, Ronnye Harrison joined the Sooners' track and field staff prior to the 2015-16 academic year after heading up the track and field program at Portland State for six years. He is in charge of all of the sprints, hurdles and relays at OU. Additionally, he will be the coaching staff liaison with the academic support staff. That position is a key one for OU head coach, Jim VanHootegem, who believes that the academic success of OU’s student-athletes is always a prerequisite to what is done on the athletic fields.
In his first year at OU, Harrison helped guide the Sooners to great results. In the outdoor season, the women's 4x400-relay won OU's first Big 12 Conference title in the event, and the first in school history in the event since 1990. That quartet, along with the women’s 4x100 relay, advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. In addition, two sprinters qualified for the championships. In the indoor season, one runner qualified for the NCAA Championship. Much of that success was on the feet of All-American Daye Shon Roberson, who produced a couple of world-ranked times in the indoor 400- and 200-meter events.
Harrison began his stint as the head track and field/cross country coach at PSU in 2009. Harrison was hired at PSU as an assistant coach in August 2008 and was named interim head coach in September of that year when the previous head coach left for another job. The interim was removed from his title in August 2009. The turnaround in the Vikings’ program was significant in Harrison’s tenure.
His 2015 PSU women’s team is coming off of its most successful season in history. Two PSU athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the first time in school history for more than one athlete to qualify for the NCAA. One of those athletes became just the third second-team All-American in school history.
The greatest success for the Vikings has come in the sprints. Under Harrison’s guidance, Portland State produced 36 Big Sky titles, 24 in the sprints. He had six athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships, out of nine total, and he produced 47 NCAA Regional qualifiers. Four athletes have earned Big Sky Athlete of the Meet honors and Harrison coached the Vikings’ only first-team All-American, Nick Trubachik, in the decathlon. He also coached all three of the school’s second-team All-Americans.
Portland State won 36 Big Sky individual titles under Harrison with 24 coming in the sprints. He also coached 59 other Big Sky medalists (31 silver and 28 bronze). His athletes broke 38 school records, including 24 of 54 possible marks on the women’s side. He had 96 All-Big Sky honorees and coached seven Big Sky record setters.
In addition to his work with athletes during track and field season, Harrison coached the first Big Sky honoree for the women’s cross country program.
Prior to joining the Portland State coaching staff, Harrison spent four years at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland, serving as the co-head coach for the boys and girls varsity track and field team. The boys and girls squads were both 2004 OSAA State Champions, and both placed in the top three at the 2005 state meet.
From 1998-2003, Harrison served as an assistant coach for the track and field teams at Jefferson High School in Portland. In 2000, the boys’ 4x100m relay team placed first at the OSAA 4A State Championships under Harrison’s tutelage.
Along with his work in track and field, Harrison is an accomplished jazz musician, and has taught jazz since 1981. He has performed the national anthem at Portland State sporting events on his saxophone.
A native of Portland, Harrison graduated from Jefferson in 1977 and served a total of seven years in the military, including the Oregon National Guard.